#UCCSynod: Arriving

#UCCSynod: Arriving

One in series of posts by Southern New England Conference delegates to the 34th General Synod of the United Church of Christ.

So we made it! Our plane from Boston landed in Indianapolis moments before the skies opened up to deliver the torrential rains and tremendous winds of a classic Midwestern thunderstorm. I grew up in the Midwest—a couple of states over in Iowa—and these thunderstorms, the staccato notes of summer on the plains, often bring welcome relief from the heat, and this week, the thick Canadian wildfire smoke that had shrouded this area for days.
One of the many gifts my late father-in-love (what he preferred to be called before he legally became my father-in-law) gave us as he moved toward his death with wonder and awe was his chosen interpretation of the presence of clouds (that he obsessed over in his later years) or rain for any of our momentous occasions: birthdays, weddings, graduations, synods …
Yes, large church gatherings like synods. My beloved’s father, Reg, was United Methodist clergy, serving local congregations, campus ministries and peace organizations, as well as a professor of sociology and social work. He also spent decades organizing and agitating for LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the UMC.
Reg, at 74, was saddened that the glioblastoma they discovered too late to be removed from his brain was going to keep him from being part of so many grand events. So, the parting gift Reg shared with us all was that if it rains or is especially cloudy on any of our special occasions—even ones when we really wish it was clear and sunny—we are to know Reg is with us in those clouds and rain.
How fitting then, that the clouds gathered and the rain poured down yesterday afternoon. For me, it was a reminder that my father-in-love, my Dad O., was hovering with the same love and care—and excitement too for yet another national church gathering—and what do you know—we arrived at exactly the same time.

Photo by Egor Yakushkin on Unsplash


Shelly Davis

Rev. Shelly Davis is pastor of the East Congregational Church, Milton MA

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